Saturday 18 January 2020

'Tacky' leggings egging makes stretch to livid-in-Lycra protest

Show a legging: The marchers make their point (Providence Journal/AP)
Show a legging: The marchers make their point (Providence Journal/AP)

Hundreds of women, girls and other supporters pulled on their yoga leggings and paraded around the Rhode Island neighbourhood of a man who had derided the attire as tacky and ridiculous.

Alan Sorrentino, who said his letter to The Barrington Times on Wednesday was meant to be humorous, condemned the response as "vicious" and claimed he had received death threats.

The so-called yoga pants parade was not a protest against Mr Sorrentino specifically but part of a bigger movement against misogyny and men dictating how women should dress, organisers said.

But they said even if Mr Sorrentino's letter was meant to be a joke, the message was clear.

"Women are fed up with the notion that we have to dress for people's visual pleasure," said parade organiser Jamie Burke.

More than 300 people - many of them women and young girls - came out for the social media-driven event in the affluent, coastal town of Barrington, wearing yoga leggings of different styles and colours.

Some held up signs that said "Peaceful Pants Party" and "I've Got Passion For My Pants".

Participants also collected personal hygiene items for the Sojourner House, a local domestic violence organisation, and marchers ended with a group yoga session.

In his letter Mr Sorrentino described yoga leggings as the worst thing in women's fashion since the mini-skirt. He said they belonged in the yoga studio and that women over 20 should not wear them in public.

One parade walker, clad in bright red leggings, held a sign that read "I'm 53".

Mr Sorrentino told WPRO-AM the letter was meant to be a humorous break from the current US political campaign rhetoric, adding he did not really have an issue with yoga leggings - and even owned a pair.

He likened the death threats and expletive-laden voicemails he said he had received to what he had experienced for years as an openly gay man.

"It's vicious and intimidating," he said. "The fact that this is seen as an appropriate reaction to something I wrote in the paper is really disgusting."

On Sunday, police were posted in front of his home, which had a hand-written banner saying "Free Speech" hanging over it.

Ms Burke said she advised participants to respect a quiet zone by his home.


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